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Thread: Albino: Chapter 3 (Nov. 22)

  1. #11
    One Thousand Member Matt's Avatar
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    It didn't sound lame. It's fine. Look, I finished a new chapter:

    Angel Hunters 8
    SPOILER! :
    Arion had been in the south a few times. It was next to impossible to get there without crossing through the center region. With Iris and Morin on foot, he didn't have the luxury of flying. The idea of leaving Morin and flying Iris south had crossed his mind more than once. Iris probably wouldn't like the idea. Arion thought it very strange, but despite their initial meeting, they were becoming good friends. If that just wasn't Iris trying to avoid Arion.

    They crossed the border into the center. There were no border guards here. Those were stationed farther up, mostly to prevent easterners from hunting in the northern region. Arion couldn't detect any change in the regions. The center was a dangerous place, full of wars, hunters, wild creatures, and bandits. The sun was setting and cast long shadows past the travelers, pointed straight east.

    "We're in a cool zone," Morin said.

    "Don't say that till we're in the south. Safe."

    Arion doubted they were truly in a cool zone. Certain monsters in the center lived underground and gulped down whatever heat source they found first. Most of them couldn't swallow a whole person. He wasn't worried about Iris. If Morin hadn't been exaggerating about Iris's power, she could handle a monster or two. Morin had his crossbow, and, surprising himself, Arion realized that he would help Morin in an attack. If Iris had grown to like him, he was likely more than Arion had thought.

    "Iris," Arion started. Before he could continue, Iris cut him off.

    "Why'd you kill them?"

    "The penalty for murder in the south is death. I just brought it to the east."

    "And made yourself like one of them? Couldn't some of them realize the truth if you told them? When you kill them, the rest assume all angels are like that."

    "Iris, you've had one encounter with a hunter. One! The majority of hunters wouldn't even think twice about killing you, or me, or any angel. They don't care how we look. They don't care what we say. They don't care what we do. They perceive us as mindless monsters and attack on sight."

    Morin said, "I don't know about other people, but I pulled the trigger on Iris because everyone else in the village had done it. If you hadn't showed up, Arion, and I'd kept hunting, I might have turned out like one of them."

    "Would you have kept hunting?" Arion asked.

    Morin shrugged and kept walking. "I don't know. I'd like to think I wouldn't. But everyone else did. They even burned my house because I didn't let them kill Iris. Rather, Dave didn't let them."

    Just who this Dave was could wait until later. Arion decided that any further arguing while crossing the center would only hinder their progress.

    If the talking had continued, none of the trio would have heard the small cry. It came from the south, a high-pitched, inhuman yell, suddenly broken off. Its lasting echo faded until all that was left was a painfully high frequency. Iris covered her ears. Morin was staring in the direction the sound had come from.

    "Wailer," Arion said, and stepped in front of Iris. Seeing Morin petrified was somehow gratifying, but he hated to see Iris scared. "Stay close. Morin, watch behind us."

    They continued their journey. Arion kicked rocks and long-dead bones aside for his party. Occasionally, they'd come across a sword or some other weapon discarded in the tall grass. Other than their footsteps and the rustle of the grass that now came up to their necks, not a single sound was audible.

    "What's a Wailer?" Morin asked. Arion was somewhat glad for the broken silence.

    "I don't know," he admitted. "I read about them. Nobody ever describes them beyond that scream."

    Morin fell silent, and Arion saw no need to continue the conversation. Their line had tightened up. Morin's finger rested, tense, on the trigger of his crossbow. Iris held the back of Arion's shirt tightly in her hand. Up front, Arion listened for the Wailer and anything else.

    "We could have stayed in the east until we got farther south," Morin said.

    "We didn't," said Arion, unwilling to explore all the reasons they already knew. At that moment, he stopped. "Morin. Behind us."

    Morin whirled, crossbow raised. The sky was pure black now, devoid of any stars or light. The light from Arion's wings illuminated the darkness a bit, but in five foot grass, it didn't help.

    "Slowly, start walking," Arion commanded. He stepped cautiously, making as little sound as possible. Iris and Morin followed suit.

    "There's a town," Iris said, pointing through the dark to an organized mass of dim lights. "Let's stop for the night. I'm . . . tired."

    The town was small. The lights from various house windows were still dim, even as they drew closer. At least they lit the entire town. They had no trouble finding an inn. The innkeeper, a kind-looking older woman, escorted them to a large room with four cots. Iris dumped herself on the middle one, far from the door and far from the window. If she had any trouble sleeping, Arion and Morin didn't know. They were asleep long before their semiconscious thoughts could shift to such worries.

    --

    The chilling wail sent Morin soaring across the room to where he had set his crossbow against the wall. It didn't subside. The screaming was close, and seemed to come from within the room. The voice was neither male nor female, or if it was, Morin couldn't tell. It wasn't screaming anything intelligible, but it sounded desperate. The screams were frantic and short-spurted.

    Iris walked toward the window, gently opened it, and sang into the screaming night. Soft, flawless vocals flowed over the ghastly wails, which slowly faded as Iris's song continued. Her voice was so gentle and her song was so beautiful that Morin was only vaguely aware of anything but the music.

    Lyrics flowed, uninterrupted. Iris stood still, leaning out the window, singing a song that sounded like a lullaby and a hymn. A simple melody filled the inn room, despite Iris's position at the window.

    The Wailer didn't make a sound. Morin and Arion stood silent and still. For five minutes, nobody moved. Slowly, Iris brought the song to a resolution and faded away. Without a word, she turned around and walked to her bed. Instead of getting under the covers again, she fell on her knees beside it and clasped her hands together. When she finished her prayer, she slid into her bed and didn't move.

    Morin looked across the room at Arion, who stood near the door, staring blankly out the window. Arion walked to his bed first. Morin walked to the window and looked out. Every light was off. The night was still and soundless, clear of even wind.

    Morin turned to Iris, sleeping with apparent calm. He couldn't know what she was thinking or what she felt, but he didn't think she had sung the song completely on a whim. Desperate to know what had just happened, Morin flopped down on his bed, but was asleep before he could ponder his questions.

    --

    The washroom was downstairs, branched off from the inn's main lobby. Nobody was at the front desk. On the desk was a single sheet of white paper, blank except for the words, "Thank You" written in rough, old-fashioned calligraphy. Iris entered the washroom first after seeing the note, then Arion, then Morin. They stepped out of the inn to a town of silence and left it behind without a word.

    When the dead town was safely behind them, Morin ventured to speak. "Before hunting was popular, people used the expression, 'voice of an angel.'"

    "Mom's lullaby," Iris said, smiling at Morin. "I remembered it." She turned to Arion. "Do you remember it?"

    "Yes."

    Five speechless minutes later, Morin asked the questions he and Arion both wanted to know the answer to. "How did you do that? How did you know what to do?"

    Iris shrugged and kept smiling. "It felt right," she said. "And it made me happy. And a bit sad. But mainly happy."

    More confused than he had been before he had asked, Morin began the long, fruitless process of pondering Iris's response. As a human, he knew nothing about angels, but judging from Arion's reaction, neither did other angels.

    "South ho," Arion said, pointing ahead at the chain of crudely crafted buildings and fences that made up the center-south border. He turned to Iris and Morin. "Once we cross that border, we start over. Morin, I'll try not to think of you as moron. Iris, we'll be out of danger, but Morin and I'll protect you with our lives. I promise I'll never let you get hurt again."

    The border guards gave the three of them a strange look as they passed. Morin dismissed it. He also dismissed the sirens going off in his head when he saw their looks directed at Arion. They were entering the south, one of two true angel sanctuaries left on the lower continent. He could accept that there would be struggles in a new life, but none of them could possibly be as bad as what they had already gone through.


    Naomi's story is resuming production after a long break. My next upload will probably be chapter 5 of that.

  2. #12
    One Thousand Member Matt's Avatar
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    Never mind. I've got more Angel Hunters before that, but it's a side story. Note that it's probably a pretty important one for later, but it's much more disturbing than my previous stuff.

    PLEASE DON'T OPEN THE FOLLOWING SPOILER IF YOU'RE OFFENDED/SCARRED BY VIOLENT DEPICTIONS OF BLOOD AND GORE
    SPOILER! :
    The north wasn't a hunting region, but nor was it anti-hunting. That known, it had the absolute lowest population of hunters on the continent: zero.

    It didn't sanctuary any angels either. Angels unfortunate enough to wander into Sigmora didn't wander out. Sigmora's population was made up of humans and dark angels, races usually turned against each other.

    Their common enemy sat on top of a large brick structure, looking down at the city. She swung her short legs over the edge. From this height, she wouldn't be hurt if she fell, and didn't worry about it. She had fallen on her head from this height when she was five. Twenty yards was nothing.

    Occasionally, a passing civilian would glance up at her and hurriedly skitter off to wherever he was going.

    She knew they were behind her. Angels couldn't land silently. She counted four before swinging her legs around and standing up. Indeed, three regular angels and one dark stood in front of her, weapons drawn.

    "Siren," the dark angel addressed her. He flicked his rapier up to her throat. With his arm at full stretch, it had an inch to go.

    "Are you betraying me to angels?" Siren asked him, cocking her head and smiling. On anyone but her, it would have been adorable. She knew it. "You were nice to me before."

    The dark angel and his wingmen—and one woman—launched their attack. Siren dodged the rapier and shot into the air, spreading her bladed crimson wings wide. Her blood red hair danced around her face. It was exhilarating. She loved this feeling. She felt a sharp sting in her chest, then a painful heat. She held her hand out and let her blood drip into it. A bullet from a steamgun would kill anyone but her.

    "You shot me so easily!" she called down to the hopeless foursome. "You'd actually shoot a little girl!"

    She swooped down, faked to the left, and streaked past the female angel, making sure to cut her nearly in half with her wings. She heard the woman's screams and smiled. The other two angels shouted her name—something like Alyssa—and canceled their assault.

    The dark angel wasn't phased. "What good does it do to cut her guts out?" he asked. "She won't die right away, and she can still attack you."

    "Why?" Siren repeated. "Because it's fun!"

    She drifted off her feet, slowly rising into the air again. "Hey, watch out behind you!" she called just a little too cheerfully. The dark angel didn't move. It was a trick.

    "Too late!"

    Siren turned to the two remaining angels before the dark angel's head hit the ground. The sharp, bloody feather returned to its place in her wing.

    "If you take her to a healer, you still won't save her," Siren told the angels. She could have lied to them, but she knew the angel woman would die. Her intestines were lying out on the roof of the building, and she didn't have enough blood left to sustain life. "Here, watch."

    She held her hand out and shot a small blue fireball at the dying angel. Instantly, she burst into flames, screaming with what little strength she had left. Her friends kept shouting her name. One of them attacked Siren in a rage, pulling a long whip from his belt. Siren let it wrap around her neck. It stung, but she would benefit from it. She reached up and grabbed it just behind the sharp tip.

    The other angel wielded a bow. Siren let three of her feathers go and returned her attention to the whip user. He had a pistol pointed at her now. Siren reached out and pinched the barrel ten feet away. The bullet never left the barrel. The steam congested inside the chamber and the gun exploded. So did the angel's hand. He dropped the whip, and Siren pulled it in. She'd never used one before, but technique didn't matter when she had magic. She flicked it out once and guided it toward the angel, stopping it an inch from his forehead. She waited until he looked up from his agony and saw it. Then she put it through his head.

    Siren's feathers returned to her a moment later, covered in blood. She looked around for the other angel, and could only find his dismembered arm at the edge of the building. Somehow, she didn't like it here anymore, so she tossed the whip aside and took flight. If she was lucky, she might get attacked again tomorrow. All anybody did was attack her or run from her, and she had grown accustomed to both, to the point where both were fun.

  3. #13
    Regular Member ladyannette's Avatar
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    ......wow.
    .......like........super wow.



    You fricking rock.
    A Monochrome Rose,
    the last of her kind,
    Faded from red to a grey
    with the movement of time.

  4. #14
    I didn't think I'd like this at first, but I gotta say it's pretty good. Haven't read the other stuff yet, but I'm all caught up with Angel Hunters and I hope to seem more soon.

  5. #15
    One Thousand Member Matt's Avatar
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    I'm glad you like it, but what about it did you think you wouldn't like? I'd like to fix it and make it better.

    @Annette - Thanks. If you don't mind, could you tell me exactly what you liked about it and what you thought could be better? I want to focus on the things I'm good at, but at the same time improve on my weaknesses.

    Note, though, Angel Hunters and Naomi's story are in the unrevised draft stage, meaning I don't even touch it after finishing it the first time. I'm posting it for feedback because I want the final to be perfect.

  6. #16
    Regular Member ladyannette's Avatar
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    Wheeelll, I start with the "what could be better". (keep in mind, i only read the Angel Hunters bits; I'll read the other later.)

    Some of the points in your dialouge could be better (i.e. the conversation between Tempus and Akiria). Also, where as I am kinda getting a picture of the setting, it could probably use a bit more description. And my tip to every author, use a thesaurus avidly, often and passionately!

    Other than that, I don't have much to say. The characters all have different, defined personalities, I'm not seeing much of an overall plot (connection between the characters) just yet, but I can see where there is a conflict that will turn into the plot, and there's a good range of personality types that (if used correctly) will flesh out your story perfectly.
    A Monochrome Rose,
    the last of her kind,
    Faded from red to a grey
    with the movement of time.

  7. #17
    Super Senior Member Celestial-Fox's Avatar
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    Akidjckdhudshhh, I was like SO behind but I caught up on everything today and dude wow you are getting so much better and I love it--RUNONSENTENCESSSSS. *gasssssp for air*

    Basically all I have to say is that you inspire me to employ some butt-in-chair, hands-on-keyboard. <3 All I do is write on Tumblr anymore. DX

    Also, what are all the ages of the AH characters again? D:! I keep getting them confused.

  8. #18
    One Thousand Member Matt's Avatar
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    Well, I'd better be getting better. If I wrote for five years with no improvement, I'd probably give up. I'd go to Tumblr more often, but I just don't have the social connections required to enjoy things like that and Facebook/Twitter/etc. Besides, I'm pretty much addicted to Mangatutorials and DeviantArt.

    Their ages are a little bit off with their personalities and such; Illyana is much more mature and collected than anyone I've ever seen her age, for example.

    Akiria: 13
    Boriol: 17
    Illyana: 11
    Elaine: 17

    Iris: 16
    Morin: 15
    Arion: 19

    Tempus: 25
    Siren: 10

    I started not directly saying their ages because in nearly all the books I read, the author hides the main characters' ages or at least doesn't come right out and say it. At first, I hated it when they did that, but then I came to think that maybe it's some sort of "good" writing technique that I wasn't used to. It's not. After writing for five years, I still see no reason to obscure the ages of your characters. Subconsciously, though, I somewhat believed it while I was writing the last 8 chapters of Angel Hunters.

    I write too many teenagers. Maybe I should give Dave, Tempus, and Simona (introduced later) bigger roles.

    PS: Seefy, are you just back temporarily, or are you here to stay?

  9. #19
    Super Senior Member Celestial-Fox's Avatar
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    Usually it's no matter how old your characters are, so authors tend not to mention it. But with you, sometimes it is a bigger deal because you drop lines about child-like mannerisms and pedophiles, so that's why I was a little more concerned about having the ages straight. (And before I started OTP shipping in my head, hahaha.)

    And hmmm, I can't say I'm "back" really until the 18th of May (when I graduate). I wish I could be hanging around longer talking to everyone, though. I am on Gmail every night IMing, though, so I could PM that to you if you'd like.

  10. #20
    999 Knights Member Renzokuken's Avatar
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    Finally caught up.

    Arion's much younger than I thought, lol. I'm bad at guessing the age of fictional characters.

    Looking forward to some more...well anything (though I am slightly more interested in Naomi's story).

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